'Council has done nothing in two years to stop black mould taking over my house', says Sheffield mum-of-one

"The house is freezing cold, there's so much mould and I'm so sick and tired of it. I just don't know what to do anymore."
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A Sheffield woman says the council has "done nothing" to help her or her nine-year-old while severe black mould has overtaken her home.

Nicole Watts, aged 35, says her rented Errington Avenue home, in Arbourthorne, has been "unliveable" for months, with damp in every piece of furniture and mildew across every wall - but she claims the council have waved her away at every turn.

Sheffield mum-of-one Nicole Watts says black mould has overtaken her Errington Avenue home in Arbourthorne.Sheffield mum-of-one Nicole Watts says black mould has overtaken her Errington Avenue home in Arbourthorne.
Sheffield mum-of-one Nicole Watts says black mould has overtaken her Errington Avenue home in Arbourthorne.
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Photos show how severe black mould has subsumed entire rooms of the mum-of-one's home. Everything from her couch to her mattress, to her wardrobe and everything in it, has been affected.

The 35-year-old says the thought of it is on her mind "every second of every day", and is pleading for Sheffield City Council to take action for the health of her and her little girl.

Nicole Watts says she has complained to the council on multiple occasions but nothing has been done to help her Nicole Watts says she has complained to the council on multiple occasions but nothing has been done to help her
Nicole Watts says she has complained to the council on multiple occasions but nothing has been done to help her

"The council say that me and my daughter are okay to live here while they get their act together," Nicole tearfully told The Star.

"It's horrible. You can't think of anything else. It stinks of mould and damp and it's in all my furniture and clothes. You can't get away from it.

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"You can only ask your friends to put you up so many times. I just don't want to have to think about it anymore. My hair has fallen out from the stress of it."

Nicole Watts says she "can't stop thinking" about the damp in her home, which has spread to her walls, furniture, mattress and clothes.Nicole Watts says she "can't stop thinking" about the damp in her home, which has spread to her walls, furniture, mattress and clothes.
Nicole Watts says she "can't stop thinking" about the damp in her home, which has spread to her walls, furniture, mattress and clothes.

Nicole says she moved into the Arbourthorne home as part of an exchange in May 2021, but saw problems arise soon after as rising damp spread from the ground floor.

She logged her worries with the council with a long list of phone calls in the past two years - but she says whenever she contacts the local authority again, they claim they have no record of her calling.

Nicole says she has been waiting two years for the council to help put a stop to the spread of black mould in her Sheffield home.Nicole says she has been waiting two years for the council to help put a stop to the spread of black mould in her Sheffield home.
Nicole says she has been waiting two years for the council to help put a stop to the spread of black mould in her Sheffield home.

Nicole says she even took the council to court in 2023 and received a £1,000 payout - which immediately went on solicitors' fees and rent arrears, leaving none to replace her damaged furniture or improve the situation for her and her daughter.

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"After calling and calling, an inspector came out - they had one look around, left, and that was it. Nothing happened afterward," said Nicole.

"I can't move away from Arbourthorne as I need to look after my nan and so my daughter can go to school.

"The house is freezing cold, there's so much mould and I'm so sick and tired of it. I just don't know what to do anymore."

Sheffield City Council has been contacted for a comment.